For me, wine is passion, vocation and profession
It is the lens to look at the world and, at the same time, the filter through which the world gazes back at me. It is an alter ego in which I like to mirror myself, because wine exalts some of the beauties of life: history, culture, uniqueness of place, time and people.
I believe in building a business card, a personal history, just as a wine is built: thoroughly, step by step, from terroir and idea to the drop of soul poured into the glass. I followed the same model in my professional development, one that passed organically from one position to another.
Today I can put more roles on my business card.
Wine and spirits critic, guest speaker, consultant, brand ambassador, entrepreneur, author
I’m a wine and spirits expert. After spending more than a decade as a professional taster, discovering the world of wine in over 80 countries on six continents, today I evaluate wines internationally and I continue to marvel at the inexhaustible diversity of this world. I have been and am a juror in some of the most important competitions: Grand International Wine Awards, Meiningers International Spirits Award (Germany); International Bulk Wine Competition (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards (Stellenbosch, South Africa); National Wine Competition (Yerevan, Armenia); The Balkans International Wine Competition (Sofia, Bulgaria); Best Serbian Wines Competition (Belgrade, Serbia).
I’m an entrepreneur. In 2016, I suggested the structure and then co-founded the RO-Wine | The International Wine Festival of Romania, the first wine festival in Romania dedicated exclusively to premium wines.
I am a guest speaker for many events involving wine. I tell the wine’s story, explain it and put it in context. In my conferences, I keep a balance between education and entertainment. Wine promotes relaxation, well-being, playfulness. My goal is to enhance them. To amplify their aftertaste, if you will.
I am a specialist consultant and brand ambassador. Experience does not rule out surprise. Like any specialist, but also like any enthusiast, I honed my preferences and continued to learn, to keep my senses alive. I am happy when I can give advice with full conviction on what has been said.
I authored several books dedicated to wine. It is, without a doubt, one of the dearest instances.
Tasting a wine is a personal and subjective act, a story that everyone writes in their own alphabet, but it can also start in the pages of a book.
I started in 2014, with “50 Romanian Wines Meet 50 Italian dishes”, then continued with The Wine Book of Romania, a collection of cellar stories, tasting notes and food pairing tips for the best Romanian and Moldovan wines. The great story of Romanian wine is being rewritten as consumers become more informed, more flexible, more open to novelty. Four more volumes of The Wine Book of Romania in total, all bilingual, because Romanian wine demands universality. It deserves it.
I thought of this virtual space as a studio, where I discover, taste and report everything that’s new in Romania’s and Moldova’s world of wine.
In 2020, a year in which the wine industry had, along with the rest of the world, one of the biggest flunks after WWII, I undertook the digitalization of my recent personal archive of over 1000 wines available in Romania – all tasted , evaluated, taxonomized into regions, categories and styles, creating the first virtual map of Romanian wine that includes stories, information, tasting notes and recommendations about when and how a wine should be tasted. On the marinelaardelean.com platform, the wine enthusiast has two options: either to find the shortest way to the wine they expect, or to wander among the wineries, varieties and tasting notes, to be surprised and discover new flavours, new ways to honor wine. To honor themselves. I thought of this virtual space as a studio, where I discover, taste and report everything that new in Romania’s and Moldova’s world of wine.
Today, marinelaardelean.com is a wine universe available free for all, the largest resource for wines, wineries and information about producers in Romania and Moldova.
I’m in love. With the wine, with the experiences it brings along, with all the layers of legend beneath which it hides. I love it as a witness of the cultural evolution of humanity. I am in love with the good, honest wines, crafted with care, but also with the people who dedicated their lives to their craft. I am in love with the quiet, motionless seconds around a glass of wine, with the life that wine turns into friendship, confession, pampering, travel, adventure, curiosity and amazement. I think wine is the only admissible beverage for the soul.